Dustin began playing guitar and drums in punk bands during his teens. He earned a degree in music studying piano and percussion at Amarillo College and worked out his Jazz chops incessantly gigging under the wings of veteran musicians on keys and drum set. He also studied music at The University of North Texas where he developed an interest in the music of India, learning tabla, mridangam, and the art of making a mean cup of chai with master percussionists.
|The Fakebooks @ June Jazz 2010|
Adams began playing music at an early age. His first instrument was the cello and he briefly took piano lessons. In high school he picked up the guitar and began playing with other musicians and joined his first band, Mediokra. During this time he started playing on his drummer's set and consequently discovered his love for drums. He traded his guitar amp for his first set of drums and then, along with guitarist Kelly Massey, formed the group Victim From Birth. They went on to play many shows and were a mainstay of Amarillo's underground punk scene for the time they were together.
From 1997-2000 Adams studied music at Amarillo College focusing on piano, drum set, and marimba. In addition to the traditional music theory and ear training he was taught in his classes he immersed himself in the study of the jazz idiom with the guidance of Amarillo College professor and saxophonist Dr. Jim Laughlin. Adams began playing drum set professionally with jazz guitarist Jimmy James and pianist E.P. Simmons. He played with a multitude of musicians in Amarillo including: Hugo Loewenstern, Jimmy James, Jim Laughlin, Jim Griffin, Donovan Stokes, and others.
Unity Through Diversity Brian Deneke Memorial 1999
Adams earned his Associate Degree in Music from Amarillo College in 2000, and in 2001 moved to Denton to attend the University of North Texas where he was accepted as a piano major. During his first semester he played piano in the Nine O' Clock jazz band.
|w/Tom Griffin, 2004|
In Denton, Adam played in the band As Rome Lies Burning with former Cabinet Crisis members Casey and Brady Clark along with vocalist Arye Orona. This project culminated in a song that was recorded at the Dallas Sound Lab. Also in 2003 Adams played, recorded and went on a short tour with the Garland based post-hardcore band Lady of the Lake and played many shows around Dallas.
After a stint as a biology major Adams resumed his musical studies at UNT focusing on percussion and began studying Carnatic (South Indian) musical theory and solkattu (rhythmic drumming language of South India) with master South Indian mridangamist and composer Poovalur Srinivasan. Adams studied mridangam, which is a South Indian double-sided drum, with Srinivasan from 2004-05. Adams had been attending a multitude of Indian music concerts since 2001 and was a member of the ICMC, i.e. The Indian Classical Music Circle of Dallas/Ft. Worth and was once honored with the privilege of providing tanpura accompaniment onstage with Hindustani slide guitar legend Debashish Bhattacharya.
Around the end of 2003 Adams left Lady of the Lake to focus on Denton based band Harry Has a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball at the request of bassist Nathan Fenoglio. Adams had been jamming with Fenoglio for a couple of years prior. The trio became a sort of musical experiment in eccentricity with "stop-of-a-dime" stylistic, tempo, rhythmic, and time signature changes. No musical territory was off-limits to Harry Has a Head as they incorporated punk, bluegrass, funk, jazz, metal, progressive rock, as well as other styles. "Post-Apocalyptic Time Travel Core" was recorded in 2005 at Foundation Sound.
In 2009 Adams collaborated with drummer Perry Justus and bassist Steven Ronk to form The Fakebooks. They performed as a jazz/funk/punk trio at many events and venues kicking off the June Jazz summer jazz concert series at Amarillo College in 2010, playing often at The 806 coffee shop, regular gigs at Fireslice Pizza and other restaurants and bars, as well as playing the Annual Polk St. Block Party in downtown Amarillo.
Adams maintained a private teaching studio in Amarillo from 2006-2011 and taught drum set, percussion, piano, guitar/bass, and music theory and jazz improvisation to a wide variety of talented people of all ages.
|w/Chris Sauthoff (2013)|
Dustin lives in Denver, CO and plays piano with The Fakebooks, drum set with Poor Bodie, teaches music at Swallow Hill Music Association and Avanti Music Academy and works as a piano tuner and technician.